The talk heading into last Saturday’s Game 4 between the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks was that a Mavericks win and corresponding 3-1 series lead would essentially mean that the Jazz’s season was over with them on the brink of elimination.
When Dallas’ Luka Doncic made a 3-pointer with 39.6 seconds left to put the Mavericks up by four at 99-95, it appeared Dallas was well on its way to the win.
History certainly backed that assumption.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, there had been 705 playoff games in the last 10 years in which one team led by four or more points with 40 seconds or less remaining.
How many times had teams come back from that deficit to get a win before Utah did it?
The Jazz are the 5th team in the last 10 postseasons to win after trailing by 4+ points in the final 40 seconds. Teams were 4-701 in that span entering this game. pic.twitter.com/uJmH47XDXr— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 24, 2022
You read that correctly. Teams were only 4-701 in playoff games in the last 10 years in which they trailed by four points or more with fewer than 40 seconds remaining, but the Jazz overcame that history and snagged the 100-99 victory.
The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets in 2019; the Golden State Warriors beat the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015; the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the LA Clippers in 2014; and the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in 2013.